The Cayman Islands is made up of three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, and is in the Western Caribbean, less than 500 miles southwest of Miami, Florida.
As the largest of the three islands, Grand Cayman is the best known and most populated of the trio. Some 60,000 people live in Grand Cayman, a blend of Caymanians and expats from over 135 nations. Most expatriates living on the island hail from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Jamaica, Latin America and the Philippines.
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman – commonly referred to as the Sister Islands – are significantly less developed and are home to just over 2,000 residents. Cayman Brac is the most rugged of the islands, with its majestic 140-foot limestone cliff, The Bluff, hiking trails and nature reserves. In contrast, Little Cayman, is celebrated for its small-island charm, unhurried way of life and magnificent diving.
The Cayman Islands is well known for its leading financial services sector, robust tourism industry, modern infrastructure and high standard of living. The Cayman Islands is acclaimed for having the highest standard of living in the Caribbean and, according to the CIA World Factbook, it has the 14th highest GDP per capita in the world.
The country has evolved from being a small community built on fishing, turtling, shipbuilding and rope-making industries and is now poised as the sixth largest financial services centre worldwide.
Much has changed since the early settler days; Grand Cayman is now home to a sophisticated business community and nearly 600 banks and trust companies, including 43 of the 50 largest banks across the globe. Grand Cayman’s success in the international financial services sector is the result of a tax neutral status and maintaining a sound regulatory environment and judicial system.
Planning a Visit
Year-round warm weather with temperatures ranging between 76°F and 87°F attract a steady influx of tourists to the Cayman Islands year after year. In fact, Grand Cayman is serviced by over 5,000 international flights a year. With such proximity to Miami, the Cayman Islands is a popular destination for travellers from the USA and Canada and is easy to get to from 20 major cities in those countries. There is also a direct flight from London, England to Grand Cayman, operating four times a week with a tarmac stop in Nassau, Bahamas.
Grand Cayman’s Owen Roberts International Airport is undergoing a major expansion that will enable it to increase its capacity to approximately three million passengers each year. The project is expected to be completed in 2019. In addition to air arrivals, around two million cruise passengers visit Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac yearly.
The Cayman Islands is led by a stable, democratically elected government, which is appointed every four years. As a British Overseas Territory, a Governor represents the British monarch and has a permanent residence on Grand Cayman. The Governor acts as a de facto head of state and appoints the Premier, who is the leader of a majority government in the country’s Legislature.
True to its ties with the United Kingdom, English is the official language of the Cayman Islands and driving is on the left-hand side of the road.
The Cayman Islands Dollar, or KYD, is the country’s official currency. However, the US Dollar is widely accepted at an exchange rate of one US Dollar to every 80 Cayman Cents.
An established government, pleasant year-round temperature, high standard of living and stable tourism and financial sectors are backed by a strong sense of community and national pride rich in culture. Woven throughout all aspects of life in the Cayman Islands is an effort to be Caymankind to all; that is, to always be courteous, demonstrate kindness and compassion and ultimately welcome all to the Cayman way of life.
Purchasing Real Estate
The Cayman Islands has long been a vacationer’s favourite, thanks to gin-clear waters, fabulous beaches and beautiful scenery. Complementing those natural attributes is warm island hospitality, a strong economy, and modern, well maintained public infrastructure, which combined make the Cayman Islands not only a great place to visit, but also a desirable place to call ‘home’.
If you’re thinking about buying a home in the Caribbean, here are five reasons why the Cayman Islands is the right choice:
1: Safe and Secure
Cayman Islands enjoys a low crime rate. A genuine sense of community where neighbours look out for each prevails, and a well-established law enforcement agency, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, ably maintains law and order.
2: Tax Neutrality
The Cayman Islands Government does not impose direct taxation, except for a one-time stamp duty on real estate purchases. There are no property taxes, capital gains taxes, income tax, non-resident taxes, sales taxes and inheritance taxes.
3: World-Class Healthcare and Education System
All schools in the Cayman Islands are co-educational with state-of-the-art facilities. Providing strong academic and extracurricular programmes to students from nursery school to grade 12, the Cayman Islands have taken a conscious approach to ensure that all students are well educated and prepared for their tertiary education pursuits, locally or abroad.
Locally, the islands have two liberal arts community colleges as well as a law school and a renowned medical university, St. Matthew’s University.
Fast becoming a healthcare haven for patients from across the globe, the Cayman Islands offer a broad range of medical services from pediatrics, to cardiac surgery, to cancer treatment. Health City Cayman Islands, an internationally accredited medical centre of global excellence, attracts patients from all over the Caribbean, the U.S., and Latin America. There are two other hospitals on Grand Cayman; the private Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital and the public Cayman Islands Hospital.
4: Perfect Weather
The Cayman Islands is an ideal outdoor playground for those who enjoy year-round temperatures between 77F to 85F. Popular water activities include world-class diving, sailing, wind sports, snorkeling and competitive swimming. On land, there are a number of fitness centres, tennis courts, and recreation and sport fields. Marathons and community walks are held almost weekly, providing an opportunity to be active and help local causes at the same time.
5: Stable Government and Modern Infrastructure
Continuously driven to create economic stimulus, the Cayman Islands Government recognizes the importance of innovative collaborations to develop much-needed infrastructure. In 2011, Dart Real Estate partnered with the Cayman Islands Government on the National Roads Authority (NRA) Agreement allowing for the redevelopment of a derelict hotel and facilitated significant roadworks without the Government incurring debt. This collaboration led to the development of Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and The Residences at Seafire as well as the expansion and realignment of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, with a vehicular underpass for safe pedestrian passing.
The Cayman Islands are amid a great development surge with the expansion of the Owen Roberts Airport, and continued roadworks expansion across the island.
Despite its size, the Cayman Islands offers much more than beaches and sun. As the world’ s fifth largest financial centre with a stable government, modern infrastructure, robust economy and world-class healthcare and education systems, the Cayman Islands has become the most vibrant, secure and prosperous Caribbean nation. Beyond question, the Cayman Islands is the exemplary location for purchasing Caribbean real estate. For real estate options, click to view Provenance Properties’ portfolio, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in the Cayman Islands.